ALASKA MARINE CONSERVATION COUNCIL
FISCAL YEAR 2021
Dear Friends, After a season of stillness and introspection, I relish the collective chatter of northern communities, human and more-than-human, finding themselves inextricably involved in the resurgence of spring, anticipating the abundance of energy to come. Filled with this zeal, I offer you Alaska Marine Conservation Council’s Impact Report on the momentum our organization has carried over our last fiscal year, thanks to our talented staff and your invaluable support. As a grassroots organization, you’ll see that we continue to center the importance of place-based stewardship in our programs and advocacy. Whether you are an AMCC member who advocated for Bering Sea halibut bycatch reductions, a Catch 49 customer who supports the small-scale harvesters and short-chain food systems that keep Alaska’s ecosystems healthy or a Business Member who values the vibrancy of our coastal communities (or all three!) - we are stronger together. As you reflect on the work that's highlighted in the pages of this report, I invite you to imagine the potential of what we are growing together - a mindful coalition of stewards working toward a common mission: to protect and promote the integrity of Alaska’s marine ecosystems and the health of ocean-dependent communities. As this planet responds to our inputs, be they disruptive or regenerative, and we co-evolve in response, I find strength in trusting that people like you and those featured in this report will continue raising your voices to honor the sanctity of our ocean home. Thank you for inspiring us and joining us. With Gratitude,
Marissa Wilson Executive Director
Song of Salmon ©Susan Slocum Dyer
Now accepting submissions for Vol. III of the A Alaska Young Fishermen's Almanac! If you or a yo young fisherman you know have fishing photos, recip recipes, pro-tips, stories, art, poems, musings, advice and/o and/or mischief to share, please consider submitting them fo for Vol. III. Submissions can be emailed to alma email@example.com.
SUPPORT THE BUSINESSES THAT SUPPORT AMCC! We’re grateful to the generous businesses and artists that supported our mission in FY2021.
Kustatan, Inc. | Danielle S. Williams Consulting | Andreas Fisheries, Inc. | The Blue Heron Inn Arctic Tern Professional Services | Valisa Higman | Elizabeth Jagusch | Kristin Vantrease
WELCOME MICHELLE STRATTON! AMCC welcomes Michelle, our new Fisheries Science Staff! Michelle was born and raised in Alaska and grew up setnetting for salmon with her family in Cook Inlet. In her new role, she’ll devote her time to fisheries research and education, helping build connections between Alaska's fishing communities and the scientific processes that support them. Learn more about Michelle at www.akmarine.org/news.
AMCC BOARD & STAFF Board of Directors: Josh Wisniewski (Chair), Seldovia. Brian Delay (Vice Chair), Juneau. Patty Hamre (Secretary), Anchorage. RJ Kopchak (Treasurer), Cordova. Melanie Brown, Bristol Bay & Juneau. Georgie Heaverley, Anchorage. Darius Kasprzak, Kodiak. Dave Theriault, Anchorage. Staff: Marissa Wilson (Executive Director), Homer. Theresa Peterson (Fisheries Policy Director), Kodiak. Katy Rexford (Director of Catch 49), Anchorage. Michelle Stratton (Fisheries Science Staff), Kodiak. Learn more about AMCC’s current Board & Staff at www.akmarine.org/our-story.
A special thank you to the fishermen and allies who contributed their art and photographs to this report. Page 1: Susan Slocum Dyer (Dillingham). Page 2: Susie Brito (Dillingham), Ward Hurlburt V (Dillingham), Ward Hurlburt V (Dillingham). Page 3: Tonya O'Connor (Dillingham), Susie Brito (Dillingham), Shelbi Bishop (Homer). Page 4: Carina Nichols (Sitka), Sirena Turner (Seldovia), Nicole Riga (Egegik). Page 8: Shelbi Bishop (Homer). Illustrations by Oceana Wills. Their works were originally showcased in Volume II of the Alaska Young Fishermen’s Almanac which celebrates Alaska’s fishing livelihoods and cultures. To learn more, visit www.akmarine.org/workingwaterfronts. And, stay tuned for Volume III, expected in Fall 2022!
STRATEGIC GOALS & IMPACT Throughout FY2021, AMCC worked diligently to advance our four strategic goals. Check out some of the highlights below! Effective Stewards & Coastal Leaders: _____ AMCC provided young and rising fishermen opportunities to build skills and resilient careers through the Young Fishing Fellows Program. Three fishermen were placed at host organizations: Logan Arnold at Native Conservancy, Jennifer Dera at Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association and Craig Chythlook at AMCC to support the Alaska Fishermen's Network (AKFN) strategic plan process. After months of upheaval from Covid, the AKFN undertook this review to determine how best to support the community. The plan will be finalized shortly.
Healthy Fisheries & Marine Ecosystems: In August 2021, a long-awaited draft Magnuson______ Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) reauthorization bill was introduced in Congress by CA Rep. Huffman. With our partners, we continued to advocate to Alaska's congressional delegation and other key policymakers for our priorities within the bill to include addressing climate impacts, reducing bycatch and protecting habitat. UPDATE: With the passing of AK Rep. Young, Rep. Huffman has paused the draft bill to “ensure the voices of the Alaskan people are represented” before it advances further through the House. Thriving Working Waterfronts: In January 2021, the Young Fishermen's Development Act ______(YFDA) was signed into law. AMCC and the Fishing Communities Coalition led the charge to create this legislation to address the barriers to young fishermen pursuing fishing as a viable career, which benefits them and the health of our wild fisheries and coastal communities. BREAKING GOOD NEWS! Congress approved $2 million in the FY22 appropriations bill for NOAA to provide training, outreach and technical assistance for young fishermen through the Sea Grant program! Address & Adapt to Climate-Driven Change: At the North Pacific Fishery Management ______Council (NPFMC), AMCC advocated for climate change and ocean acidification research to become more integrated into Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management (EBFM) approaches to build the resilience of the Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska and Arctic. Our recent efforts contributed to the NPFMC endorsing climate-ready fisheries management in the Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP) and supporting a Gulf of Alaska FEP. Stay Connected! Sign-up for our eCommunications at www.akmarine.org and never miss an update.
THANK YOU DON YOUNG AMCC wishes to acknowledge AK Rep. Don Young, who passed away while we were writing this report. The Congressman was a stalwart advocate of the Young Fishermen's Development Act legislation. We're grateful to him for his support that was instrumental to its passage. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and staff. Photo: AMCC Staff & fishermen in DC to meet with Alaska Congressional Delegation
GRASSROOTS IN ACTION
Solution to Bering Sea Halibut Bycatch Crisis Turns a Corner AMCC Strategic Goal
: Healthy Fisheries & Marine Ecosystems
One of AMCC's highest priorities has been to advance solutions to the halibut bycatch crisis in the Bering Sea due to the far-reaching implications on Alaska's halibut fisheries, marine ecosystems and coastal communities. The Bering Sea is considered the nursery grounds for halibut throughout the North Pacific, with juvenile halibut tagged in the Bering Sea traveling to the Gulf of Alaska and as far south as Oregon. While a powerful fleet of industrial-scale bottom trawlers from outside Alaska fish for targeted species like sole in the Bering Sea, they drag their nets along the ocean floor, indiscriminately hauling in and discarding (living or dead) massive amounts of unwanted halibut in the process. Since 2011, more halibut have been caught as bycatch in the Bering Sea than directly by halibut fishermen.* Simultaneously, halibut stocks have declined to the point that they no longer support the ways of life of many community-based halibut fishermen in the region. While factory ships drag offshore, a staggering nine out of 17 communities no longer participate in the halibut fishery upon which they've historically relied economically and culturally.**
Since 2011, more halibut have been caught as bycatch in the Bering Sea than directly by halibut fishermen.
This results from decades of outdated fisheries and bycatch management systems glaring with inequities and waste. The directed halibut fishery is managed based on abundance of the species, but bycatch in the groundfish fisheries is managed based on a flat cap that has changed little in several decades. As the stock declined, halibut fishermen reduced their fishing, while the factory bottom trawlers benefitted.
For six years, AMCC and our allies have been advocating diligently for Abundance-Based Management (ABM) as a solution to the crisis. This management approach links the number of halibut allowed as bycatch each year to the health of the stocks. ABM is a science-based, fair and common-sense approach to ensuring the long-term conservation of this species, upon which thousands of Alaskan families and businesses depend. In December 2021, our efforts reached a critical turning point when the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) took final action on ABM, specifically addressing the Amendment 80 fleet, the bottom trawl boats responsible for most of the bycatch. Leading up to that decision, we asked you to raise your voices to support a healthy future for halibut, and you turned out in spades. If not for you, the results might not have been as positive. In the end, the NPFMC approved a new ABM plan, establishing a 2.9-million-pound bycatch limit for the Amendment 80 fleet based on halibut abundance levels, which represents a 25% reduction from the current limit. The plan also allows for reductions of up to 35% should halibut stocks decline further. Although AMCC and our allies have been advocating for more meaningful reductions, we view the result as a positive step in a longer march toward fishery management that reflects more sustainable and equitable use of our common resources. We are grateful to everyone who made this progress possible. As our journey continues, we will keep you informed about how you can engage. To learn more, read AMCC's comments to the NPFMC at www.akmarine.org/post/our-comment-halibut-abm. *International Pacific Halibut Commission **Social Impact Analysis reports
CATCH 49, OUR FISHERMEN PARTNERS & YOUU Growing the Demand for Sustainable Seafood AMCC Strategic Goal
: Thriving Working Waterfronts
The future of Alaska’s wild fisheries and marine ecosystems depends on small boat fishermen being able to live, work and thrive in our coastal communities because they are the most credible voices for their conservation. For a decade now, AMCC - through our Catch 49 seafood sales effort - has been increasing economic opportunities for Alaska’s stewardship-minded fishermen by growing the demand for sustainably harvested seafood. With our fishermen partners and customers, we are demonstrating we all have a critical role in advancing meaningful alternatives to destructive, industrial-scale fishing practices. Please meet the Carpenters below, one of 17 inspiring fishing families and fishing businesses we partnered with in FY2021, to learn more about them and the positive impact of Catch 49 in their own words.
Anita & Len Carpenter // Kodiak, AK Can you tell us a bit about yourselves? We’ve fished commercially out of Kodiak for over three decades and have owned our vessel the Fish Tale for 22 years. We started out as crew in the halibut and sablefish longline fisheries and became concerned about our future when the effects of privatization and consolidation in those fisheries, which edge out local small boat fishermen like us, became apparent. Since that time, we chose jig fishing as a way for us to spend time together as a family - working and building a fishing business with and for our children. The jig fishery is low-impact on the environment and still one of the few entry level fisheries that require little investment to participate. It has served as a steppingstone for us and many others to build a viable fishing operation for our family.
"Catch 49 has provided us the opportunity to grow our business and become less dependent on high volume, low value fisheries that dominate Alaska's seafood industry."
What inspired you to partner with Catch 49? We began partnering with Catch 49 around 2015 for the opportunities it gave us to provide high quality seafood to families across Alaska who appreciate the care and respect we have for our resources and also to receive a better price for our catch. Why do you value your partnership with Catch 49? Catch 49 has provided us the opportunity to grow our business and become less dependent on high volume, low value fisheries that dominate Alaska's seafood industry. It has allowed us to transition into high value markets of folks - like Catch 49 customers - who value small boat fishermen and the quality we provide.
What would you tell someone to encourage them to become a Catch 49 customer and a member of AMCC today? When you support AMCC and Catch 49, you help small scale fishing families and the communities that depend on them staying healthy and vibrant. As a bonus, you get the best seafood possible, harvested by families that care about the resource, environment and sustainable harvests. Visit www.catch49.org, to learn about Catch 49’s current offerings, meet the fishermen and subscribe to our newsletter! Photos courtesy of the Carpenter Family
OCEAN GUARDIANS Our work is made possible thanks to caring individuals, businesses and foundations who share our concern for Alaska's oceans and wild fisheries and the ways of life they sustain.
Pete Wedin // Homer, AK AMCC Member Since 1997
Captain Pete Wedin will tell you that fisheries and marine conservation run in the family. His father John was the owner and editor of The Fisherman’s News for 25 years before working for WA Senator Magnuson to shepherd legislation through Congress that would later become the Magnuson-Stevens Act. “AMCC immediately caught my interest when I read their mission back in 1997.” He has been a member ever since. When Pete joined the AMCC board in 2006, he recalls the Chair asking him why he values AMCC and getting a bit choked up in his response. “I said I wanted to serve for the sake of my grandchildren. My wife Debra and I had just been blessed with beautiful twin granddaughters. Making sure they could enjoy Alaska’s bounty in the future was important to me. There are six grandchildren now, and I’m just as passionate about this.” Pete also remembers the day years ago that climate change was introduced to him in a board meeting by a climatologist. The board immediately took action. “I still believe our biggest threat then and now is ocean acidification - and that AMCC’s role in advocating for the resilience of our fisheries and marine resources is more important today than ever. As I eat my beloved oysters, clams and crab, I only hope that my grandchildren can do the same in their 70th year.” We are inspired by Pete’s long standing commitment to AMCC’s mission for now and future generations. If you also value our efforts, please become a member today at www.akmarine.org!
WAYS OF GIVING
FY2021 (10/1/20 - 9/30/21)
Total Revenue by Type: $610,968 Donations 10%
Catch 49 Sales 28%
Total Expenses by Type: $554,856 Fundraising 13% General & Administrative 15%
Please look for AMCC’s FY2021 Financial Review when it is completed later this year at www.akmarine.org.
Did you know there are many different ways to support AMCC? Monthly Giving Business Memberships Pick.Click.Give. Gifts of Stock In Honor of Gifts 1% for the Planet And more! Check out all the ways at www.akmarine.org/getinvolved! Only together, can we advance solutions to our halibut bycatch crisis, advocate for climate-ready fisheries and keep ities. fishing opportunities in our coastal communities. Thank you!
Thank you to our Ocean Guardians for making our work in FY2021 possible! Chinook $1000+ Anonymous (2) 444S Foundation Alaska Conservation Foundation Between Beaches Alaska Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association Robert Bundy & Bonnie Lembo Elizabeth Cumming George H. and Jane A. Mifflin Memorial Fund William Leighty & Nancy Waterman John & Rika Mouw Nell Newman Foundation Oak Foundation James Stratton The Edgar P. Bailey Trust The Harder Foundation Halibut $500-999 Alaska Boats & Permits Christopher Arp & Sarah Robinson Deborah Bonito Dorothy & Bob Childers Kathrine Consenstein* Brian Delay & Lindsey Bloom Harvey Goodell Madeleine Grant Mimi Hogan & PJ Hill Dan Hull & Nancy Pease Karla Kolash & Harold Curran Koteff Accounting Group Elizabeth Myers Christine O’Connor Tina & Paul Seaton Frederick & Laurel Stutzer David Theriault Peter Van Tuyn & Ilona Bessenyey Danielle & Steve Williams Tanner Crab $250-499 Abhijeet Tambe Fund Matthew Alward Stosh Anderson Judith Brakel Kirsten Chapman Ed Crane Dustan & Evie Dickerson Jeffrey Feldman Patty Hamre Kelly Harrell Hannah Heimbuch Darius Kasprzak RJ & Barclay Kopchak Kustatan, Inc.
James & Dianne Mahaffey Karl Ohls & Evelyn Abello Barb Scalzi Floyd Tomkins & Connie Kreiss Christopher White Danielle S. Williams Consulting Paul Zimmer & Tia Leber Jon & Stephanie Zuck Sockeye $100-249 Anonymous (1) Peter Allan & Mary Hickey Bill & Etsuko Beebe Marvin & Annette Bellamy Ronald & Barbara Berg Mark Blakeslee Joyanne Bloom Loma Bording Nevette Bowen Melanie Brown Joseph Burt Michael Byerly Brad Casar Joel & Greta Cladouhos Vicki Clark* Rachel Donkersloot Thomas Ely Mary Forbes Mike & Gina Friccero Marah Gotcsik Patricia Green Jarl & Kathleen Gustafson Claire Holland Leclair* Todd Hoppe Sharon & Steven Horn Susan Huckabee Carol Hult Jill Jaeckel Eric & Sarah Jordan Maureen Knutsen Tracie Krauthoefer & Peter Briggs David Kubiak Athenia Large Clare Lattimore Mike & Lora Laukitis Michael Laukitis Ricarda Lebman William & Renee Lindow Peter Longrich Laura Lucas & Bob Banghart Cecil Magone* Hope McGratty & Tyler Jones Valorie Miller Stephen Montsaroff* Astrid Mueller Eileen Mullen
Martinus Nickerson Brian & Marjorie Paust Amanda Piatt & Nick Hamming Linda & Frederick Rabideau Teri & Kris Robinson Rolan & Jo Ruoss Ella Rush Walter & Linda Sargent Jorg & Susan Schmeisser Susan Siok John & Mary Pat Sisk Philip & Deborah Smith Stacy Studebaker Catherine & Joseph Vanbuskirk Neil Wagner Paula Williams Steve Williams Josh Wisniewski Kathy Wood Rockfish $50-99 Anonymous (1) Arctic Tern Professional Services Erica Aus* Samantha Baker* Deborah Bennett Ed Berg Camilla Dalton Aase Dane Clifton Derrick George Donart Robert Dugan Sherry Dugan Mary Farrell Elizabeth Figus Katie Gavenus* Hannah Griego Carole Guffey James Herbert Mark Hodge Elayne Hunter Lindsay Johnson Lynnda Kahn Linda & Thomas Lance Kristen Lewis Caspian Linkhart Mary Liston Nancy Lord & Ken Castner Bridget Maryott Fred Matsuno Kimbrough Mauney Casey Meliah Linda Millard Stanton Moll Thorey Munro Mark Munro Cari & Matthew Oakleaf
Heather Nix Mike O'Meara Sandra O’Connor Britta-Lis Perry Amy Schaub Michael Schumm* Bob Shavelson* Roger Shoffstall McKenna Slivensky John Starkey Sara Stoops Audrey Taylor Erik Velsko Vicki Vermillion Ken Zafren Pacific Cod $25-49 Anonymous (1) Suzanne Abraham Melissa Behnke Blue Heron Inn Bethany Buchanan Kaitlin Cunningham Talia Davis Samuel Degange-Aschenbrenner Robin Dern Tyler Emerson Adria Evans Christopher Frost Amanda Goss Richard Gustafson Linda Harriger Scott Headington Georgie Heaverley Brian & Linda Himelbloom Mark Hottmann Brooke Itter Bruce Jolma Laura Junge Tracy Lohman Christine Maack Sonja Martin Young Michael Milligan Robbi Mixon Molly Mylius Daniel Perry Beatrice Reynolds Sonja Rootvik Alice Ruby Daniel & Joanne Shively Leonard Simmons Ralph Sirofchuck Jennifer & Steve Smith William Still Abigail Turner-Franke Ryan Webb Ann Whitmore-Painter Oceana Wills Thomas Young *AMCC Monthly Giving Club members
AMCC’s mission is to protect and promote the integrity of Alaska’s marine ecosystems and the health of ocean-dependent communities. PO Box 2190, Homer, AK 99603 www.akmarine.org
PO Box 2190, Homer, AK 99603 www.akmarine.org AMCC’s mission is to protect and promote the integrity of Alaska’s marine ecosystems and the health of ocean-dependent communities.
TODAY T O D A Y YOUR Y O U R GIFT G I F T GOES G O E S 2X 2X FURTHER FOR ALASKA’S OCEANS Thanks to the generosity of the Nell Newman Foundation, now through May 23, all donations to AMCC will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $5,000! Simply donate at www.akmarine.org to double your impact! While you’re there, check out all the other ways there are to support our mission!